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Pig becomes boy’s new best friend

Terri Schlichenmeyer

What would you do if your very best friend asked you to do something special for her, something that would make her feel really great this holiday season?

You’d do it, wouldn’t you? As long as it was legal, you’d probably get it done. That’s what friends are for, right?

But if it would get you in trouble, well, that’s nothing to snort at. In the new novelette, “The Christmas Pig” by Kinky Friedman, a young boy learns that, even though it might not be easy, friends sometimes save one another’s bacon.

Every year, King Jonjo Mayo the First commissions a Christmas nativity portrait to be displayed after Midnight Mass. This year, he’s kind of in a bind. No worthy painter has been found, and Christmas is coming up fast. King Jonjo is about to throw a Royal Fit when his advisor, Feinberg, suggests that the King send his knights to find a boy that the locals say is quite talented.

The knights travel far up the northern coastline to a small village where they find a Viking who claims to have found the boy in a basket on a stormy night. The Viking tells the knights that the boy might be the son of mermaids, but right now, the child is being raised by a kindly farmer and his wife. The knights can speak to him, the Viking says, but the boy won’t talk back.

You see, the boy – Benjamin – has never been known to utter a word.

Deep inside himself, Benjamin feels no emotion. He’s never had a friend. He’s never shown affection. People think he’s mentally handicapped, but he’s not. He’s a genius and he completely understands that the King needs his masterpiece within two weeks. Benjamin knows that it must be his greatest work. He realizes that the fate of the farm rests upon the stroke of the sable.

Returning to his studio, Benjamin faces a blank canvas. He’s discouraged, until he hears a soft, friendly voice. It’s the small pig from the back corner of the barn, and she says her name is Valerie.

Inspired, Benjamin begins work on his painting. He and Valerie strike up a friendship, and Benjamin finds a voice that only Valerie hears. Then Benjamin hears something that terrifies him: when the portrait is done, the king’s men want to please their sire with a roast pig.

And the kindly farmer just happens to have one …

Author Kinky Friedman missed gaining the office of the governor of Texas last month, but that’s O.K. Governors don’t always have time to pen charming novels like this one. “The Christmas Pig” is a quick read – something you can finish in a night or less – and it deftly mixes politics, love, friendship, Friedman-style humor, and a darn fine holiday lesson in a story that will make you smile. In short, this is a book you should jump into, whole-hog.

Pick up a copy of “The Christmas Pig” and share. Get one for your best friend, too. It’ll make her squeal with glee.


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